Dundee United lose Charlie Mulgrew as Kerr Smith hailed for coming through difficult week

It was close at times, but Dundee United manager Thomas Courts admitted that the match against Hearts was one that they were never really in control of.
Dundee United manager Tam Courts can't hide his dejection.Dundee United manager Tam Courts can't hide his dejection.
Dundee United manager Tam Courts can't hide his dejection.

Despite a highly-competitive start, it was Hearts who grabbed the opening two goals and United could not reel them in as they were eventually defeated 5-2 and lost ground on their hosts in the league standings.

“I actually thought we started really, really well. We were on the front foot, we had a good shape about us,” said Courts. “But then we started to become really loose, Hearts got the breakthrough and the second goal.

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“We got a bit of a lifeline coming in at half-time at 2-1, to be fair. But I always felt we were chasing and when you do that you leave space, and Hearts took advantage. It was never a game we were in control of, unfortunately.”

They were not aided by the departure of the experienced Charlie Mulgrew at the interval after a muscular injury flared up and he was replaced by young Kerr Smith.

“Obviously we go into the international break so we hoped we could get him through the 90 minutes,” said the United boss.

“It has been one of those weeks! Dylan Levitt also pulled out on Friday.

“Kerr is 16-years-old, so I’m really proud of him for the bravery he showed going onto the pitch today because he has also had a really tough week. He has had a personal issue to deal with.

“But he’ll learn from today, the team will learn, I will learn, and we’ll be better for it.”

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